Voters in Ohio on Tuesday voted to legalize cannabis for adult use, the Associated Press reports. Under the law, adults… Read More
Voters in Ohio on Tuesday voted to legalize cannabis for adult use, the Associated Press reports. Under the law, adults 21 and over can buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow plants at home. The measure imposes a 10% tax on purchases, which is earmarked for administrative costs associated with the program, addiction treatment, municipalities with dispensaries, and social equity and jobs programs supporting the new industry.
However, as a citizen-initiated statute, lawmakers could make changes to the program – or even repeal it. The measure was opposed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, Republican state senators, and the Ohio Association of Health Commissioners.
Following the vote, Republican Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, via a text by his spokesperson, told the AP that lawmakers may also reconsider “questionable language” regarding limits on THC.
In a statement, Matthew Schweich, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said the approval by voters indicated “There should no longer be any doubt that cannabis legalization can win in a conservative state.”
“In the years ahead, more states will adopt legalization and further increase pressure on Congress to address the glaring conflicts between state and federal law regarding cannabis.” — Schweich in a press release
NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano noted in a statement that “Cannabis legalization is an issue that unites Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.”
“Ohioans have seen similar legalization laws adopted in neighboring states and they know that regulating the cannabis market is preferable to the failed policy of prohibition,” he said. “It is imperative that elected officials respect the voters’ decision and implement this measure in a manner that is consistent with the sentiments of the majority of the electorate.”
A position paper from Scioto Analysis published late last month found that cannabis legalization in Ohio would likely generate about $260 million in “net benefits for society,” ranging between $200 million in net costs and $1.9 billion in net benefits. According to the report, Ohio would see an estimated $190 million from cannabis-derived tax revenues and the funds directed to the for the Cannabis Social Equity and Jobs Fund and the Substance Abuse Addiction Fund, could “generate over $800 million of social value by themselves.”
Ohio is the 24th state to enact the reforms.